#52 Ancestors: Week 2 Favorite Photo
My favorite photo of my father-in-law, Charles Pawlak, was taken when he was a young boy probably around eight years old in about 1924 or 1925. Who could resist that impish grin and mischievous eyes! I can imagine that he was a real rough-and-tumble little boy, especially with four older brothers and an older sister! There is a family story of Charles getting hit in the head with a horseshoe and his mother cured it by using Vaseline and tying a clean rag around his head for a bandage!
Charles Daniel Michael Pawlak was born the 9th of April in 1916, the seventh and last child of Stephen and Bronislawa Pawlak in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His “Certificate of Birth Registration” has his name in the English form, but he was born into a polish-speaking family and named Carolus Daniel Michael in Polish. His family always called him Karl (Karol) but he went by the name of Charles as he grew up.
The family lived on Becher Street on Milwaukee’s South Side, which was a mainly Polish neighborhood in the first half of the 1900’s. They lived relatively close to St. Adalbert’s Catholic Church and Charles was baptized in that Church on 23 April 1916 by the Rev. Waclaw Kruszka. Friends of the family, Adalbert Sobanski and Anastasia Kawicka were chosen to be his godparents.
According to Roman Catholic Church procedures, the church records were written in Latin but I was able to find the official record of Charles’ Baptism.
The family were devoted Catholics and much of their lives and celebrations centered around their church and religion. The children attended St. Adalbert’s Catholic School and learned not only English, but also studied and spoke Polish. Of course, all the children made their First Holy Communion and I am pleased to have a picture of Charles taken in a Photo Studio to commemorate his First Communion and his First Communion Certificate written in Polish! He was seven years old when he celebrated this event on 20 May 1923. Gone is the impish grin replaced by an Angelic countenance!
These are my two favorite pictures of Charles and I will be writing more about him and his family in posts to come! Another precious document I would like to share from his childhood is his 8th grade Certificate of Graduation from St. Adalbert’s school on 13 June 1930.
You can read more about his parents, Stephen and Bronislawa in last week’s post! https://thepawlakpast.com/2020/01/04/a-fresh-start-stephen-and-bronislawa-pawlak/